User talk:Circeus

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Admin again.[edit]

Hi Circeus,

Are you still not interested in being an admin?

RuakhTALK 15:41, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


Ah, "avalent" doesn't mean "weather" ...

An avalant verb is one that takes no arguments, e.g. is non-valent. For example: "it rains" has no object and no subject ("it" is just a placeholder, there is of course no "it" involved). Robert Ullmann 15:46, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Re: gloss-y templates[edit]

I fully agree with you, and those were my next stepping stone in cleaning up the context labels (the last is cross-definition/etymological labels like {{figuratively}} and {{by extension}}, but that is going to be one protracted battle). However, you're practically hijacking the discussion at GP, so please could you leave it aside for the time being? Circeus 21:34, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Um... why do you consider 5 comments to be "practically hijacking", particularly since one of them was an answer to a question directed at me? Most of the discussion has centered on technical issues between Robert and DAVilla, with my comments (after the first one) being brief. Many discussions I choose never comment on at all, either because I have no useful contribution to make or because someone has (or I expect will) respond better than I could ever do. Topical category structure is one area that comes up so infrequently in discussions here, that I don't know who else is likely to contribute thoughts. As someone who has worked in museums and libraries and therefore has a practical knowledge of cataloging, I have useful knowledge to contribute to this discussion. All in all, it seems counter to the MediaWiki spirit to ask someone not to participate in a discussion. --EncycloPetey 22:03, 10 June 2008 (UTC)


You've been (incorrectly) marking a lot of English entries as {{obsolete}} lately. Some of these entries have current quotes, or appear in current use. So why are you marking them as "obsolete"? That tag indicates that a word is (1) no longer in use, and (2) would not be understood by a modern audience. This is not true for many of the examples I've noticed that you've marked. --EncycloPetey 01:00, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I might call accinge {{rare}}, but then again so are many English words. I would disagree about perforce, as a quick search on Wikisource turned up a large number of uses clear through to H. G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. Wikisource has few 20th century works, so an absence of such in the search does not give any indication one way or another. It might be appropriate to describe the word as {{archaic}}, in that its use has all but dropped off, but people still understand what it means. --EncycloPetey 01:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I have started a page of Citations:perforce. --EncycloPetey 02:20, 11 June 2008 (UTC)


I'm curious why you made this switch [1]. Also note that, in doing so, you broke the numbering sequence with your edit. --EncycloPetey 01:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

OK, just curious. Just so you know, there is a major division of thinking between Wiktionary editors who favor ordering by etymology and ordering by frequency. The entry was ordered by etymology, but I (personally) tend to favor ordering by frequency most of the time. --EncycloPetey 01:34, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Greek etymologies[edit]

Please note: The templae {{Gk.}} means that a word comes from modern Greek. For Ancient Greek, use {{AGr.}} or {{etyl|grc}}. I don't know which is correct for threnody, but wanted to be sure that you meant modern Greek for its etymology. --EncycloPetey 22:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

User:Atelaes specializes in Ancient Greek. If you add the English entry to Wiktionary:Requested articles:Ancient Greek, he'll take care of it. --EncycloPetey 22:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

for what it's worth[edit]

You removed a quotation in this edit with the justification that the quotation showed a sum of parts meaning of the phrase. I rolled back your removal for the following reasons:

  1. Sum of parts is not sufficient grounds for exclusion here. Collocations are often sum of parts, but are nevertheless included. In the quotation removed, for what it's worth is a genuine collocation because all of the following literally equivalent variations are affected:
    • *Take my advice for how much it’s worth—don’t marry Garth: marry some old fool.
    • *Take my advice for its worth—don’t marry Garth: marry some old fool.
    • *Take my advice for its value—don’t marry Garth: marry some old fool.
    • *Take my advice for how much you might value it—don’t marry Garth: marry some old fool.
  2. The sense demonstrated an important stage in the evolution of the phrase.
  3. The quotation is not necessarily understandable to those unfamiliar with the collocation. A literal reading might have yielded the following interpretation:
    • *Pay me what my advice is worth—don’t marry Garth: marry some old fool.

Let me know if you disagree with the reasoning above. Rod (A. Smith) 01:48, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Word of the Day[edit]

Would you like to try doing the whole shebang for next month? (i.e. selecting the words, ordering them, and putting them into the recycled pages) If so, let me know so that I don't duplicate your efforts, and let me know the first few words so that I can add any necessary audio files. --EncycloPetey 18:25, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

How about we try a smaller step this month, with the optional plan of having you do the whole thing next month, so as to ease you into it? I like taking a break from doing WOTD a couple of times each year, and September is likely to be busy for me anyway. What I can do is go ahead and select the words, put them in a desireable sequence, but let you tidy the definitions and set up the page templates. We can discuss later how I decided which words to use and how I determined a sequence for them. --EncycloPetey 19:09, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, while we were talking, I scanned through the nominations page and made the August selections. I usually try to pull from the older nominations most heavily, because they get moved to an archive as the page grows longer. However, there were so few words nominated in July, that I started with those this time, in the hopes that it will stimulate more noms next month. I try to pick words from a variety of nominators, rather than favoring one or another. When one or two people are making most of the nominations, this may prove difficult or impossible. Of course, when one or two people make most or all of the noms, I also feel less guilty about selecting my own choices.

To keep track of what I'm doing, I take a half-sheet of paper and divide it into columns for N, V, and ADJ (with the option to squeeze in other parts of speech, but we don't usually have many nominated or selected in a given month). I also draw lines to create three broad rows for (roughly) A-E, F-O, and P-Z. I then begin picking nominations from the list and writing them down in appropriate sections. This procedure allows me to see which parts of speech I have lots of selections for so far, and where I need more to supplement. To keep nominations diverse, I don't want too many from any one letter of the alphabet or any one part of speech. I try to balance these mostly, but verbs typically come out a little short, and in some months I begin dictionary surfing to supplement the nominations with more verbs. The letter groups (A-E, etc.) divide the alphabet evenly according to how large the dictionary is in terms of the number of words beginning with those letters. The most common first letters in English are P, S, C, B, A, and D, so I keep an eye towards having two to four words from each of those letters, and having 0-2 for other letters. There is a strong temptation to pick weird words beginning with Q, X, Y, or Z, but such words are so rare that I seldom chose a word beginning with one of those letters.

As I select nominations, I also take a look at out entry for it, to see how much work the entry will need before being featured. I can handle only so much cleanup on my own, and some entries are in really bad shape. One entry this month that will need a lot of format cleanup is accord. I also check to see that it (or a similar word) has not previously been WOTD here. For new or unfamiliar users, I also check on other sites to see whether they are just making noms based on what another site featured. Some users post their own noms, but others simply dump lists of words from other sites.

Once I have the requisite number of nominations (I may even prune the list if I find I've selected too many from the noms), then I sequence them. I make a list of the numbers 1-30 (or 31 for longer months) on the other half of the sheet, and begin placing the words and noting their POS. This way, we don't get three or more nouns in a row, the verbs don't all come at the start of the month, we don't have all A-D words at once, etc. Then, I make one more look over the completed sequence to make sure I'm happy with it. Sometimes, seeing the whole list will make you aware of a problem, such as lots of negative words and no positive words, or that there are too many words pertaining to a particular field or discipline. I also check any doubtful words against M-W, AHD, or the OED. If a word does not appear in one of those dictionaries, and does not have suitable quotes in accordance with CFI, then I don't use it.

But, once I have the list, it's then much easier throughout the month to add the next WOTD, because it's already been selected. That way, I can also record all the audio at once and upload it to Commons in advance (or ask Dvortgirl to do so). When I first began doing WOTD, I'd try to edit all the WOTD templates in a single day before the start of the month. While this has advantages in terms of allowing others to proofread them, it is also too much work and stress at one time. These days, I upload to the templates in batches. In a good month, I'll take care of three per day, which finishes the month of WOTD selections in 10 days, and gains progressively each day that passes (while allowing me to miss a day of uploads if something else needs my attention).

Here are the words I've selected. note that I've indicated the POS, since each WOTD is only for one POS, even if the entry word can be used as more than one in English.

1 lollipop n
2 accord v
3 unnecessary adj
4 parvenu n
5 occur v
6 cumberground n
7 betimes adv
8 irascible adj
9 preternatural adj
10 circumscribe v
11 schadenfreude n
12 filial adj
13 worrywart n
14 rapacious adj
15 bludgeon v
16 pillage v
17 cistern n
18 licit adj
19 excise v
20 bivouac n
21 slipshod adj
22 cordial adj
23 mouton enragé n
24 incur v
25 moot adj
26 emollient n
27 undergrounder n
28 queue v
29 obstinate adj
30 negawatt n

The next step is to clean up entries, then add them to the WOTD template for that date. I keep one window open to the coming/current month's page in the Archives (i.e. Wiktionary:Word of the day/Archive/2008/August for this month), and in a nother window navigate to the entry to be featured. I may even use a third window for internet searching or making comparisons.

What has to be done:

  1. Make sure the entry has definitions for all major senses. This usually means comparing against one or more major dictionaries, like AHD, M-W, and the OED.
  2. Make sure the definitions are not copyvios. This can be done while doing step 1, though I check as well for this.
  3. Add the audio files, since the WOTD template wants them.
  4. Cleanup the entry format as much as possible. This may involve putting sections in order, linking, updating templates, adding/splitting Translations sections, and whatever other work I can manage in the time I have. Sometimes, I'll try to make as ideal an entry as I can, but other times, I just make sure there are no formatting errors.

Then, I edit the WOTD daily templates. The word, POS, and definitions must be entered. The POS is usually n, v, or adj, but adv, num, interj, and other abbreviations are occasionally used. While some dictionaries use a for "adjective", that is ambiguous with "adverb", so I avoid it. For each entry, I pick one or more definition senses to use, all from the same part of speech. I do not always use all the definitions, usually just the major ones that are clearly distinct. I may curtail long definitions for the sake of brevity, and never link in the definition for the WOTD template itself. The formatting must always be carefully checked for multiple definitions. The first definition never takes a hash (#), but all others require them. The last definition never takes a period (.) but all others require them.

Usually the audio file needs no special linking, but that does happen from time to time that we use a UK recording, where the name is different and we need to explicitly include the link. I mention this because, although it happens rarely, it can be very confusing when it happened a year ago in the template you're editing. If the audio file is named "en-us-PAGENAME.ogg", then it will be linked automatically with no code added manually. But, any other filename format will require the file's name to be included in the WOTD template as documented on the template talk page.

You've already figured out about the "WasWOTD" templates, striking noms, and updating the archive nav page. The other archivng done is adding to the Alphabetical index, moving the old noms down (a few days after noms start for the new month, so anons aren't confused by a blank section), and substing the previous month for the archives.

That's a basic summary of most of what I do for WOTD. Please ask if you have questions. --EncycloPetey 20:07, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

It may also be worth noting that it can be helpful to call in help with certain things for WOTD. Both Widsith and I have at times added etymologies to the WOTD's (sadly I can't claim to be as reliable about this as I would like), so it may pay to drop the list on our talk pages. I know EP has also dropped lists on Dvortygirl's talk page for audio files. He may have other people who work on things that I am not aware of. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:12, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, I will happily help; likewise with IPA. Ƿidsiþ 20:48, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Circeus, I added a bit of procedural info above that I forgot (about checking former WOTDs), and I've recoded all the audio but one. I'm uploading them to Commons now. The one word I didn't record is mouton enragé, because I expect you'd do a better job of getting the pronunciation right (my French-ish accent is horrid). Just label the file as "en-ca-mouton enragé.ogg" when you upload to Commons. --EncycloPetey 20:42, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm usually familiar enough with IPA/X-SAMPA to at least provide one pronounciation. What software would you recommend for recording on WinXP? I don't have anything for that (or if I do, I don't know about it, and it probably doesn't do ogg anyway). Circeus 20:50, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Dvortygirl wrote a procedure at Help:Audio pronunciations. It's a bit dated in recommending Audiacity, but it works well for me on the Mac. A lot of people use Shtooka, but I haven't and so can't offer advice about that. --EncycloPetey 21:11, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Note: I've gone ahead and done the Aug 1 template (lollipop). The RSS feed usually needs a couple of hours lead time for WOTD, and we're now less than two hours from UTC 0:00. --EncycloPetey 21:15, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for doing lollipop. I'm currently fixing accord. It's not quite as bad as it looks. I'm mostly making more work for myself by tracking down as many quotes as possible. Circeus 21:30, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Hehe. One on the dangers of working on WOTD is spending too much time editing entries to the detriment of other activities. There are a number of other problems with the format of accord, though, such as the intrusive Quotations under each definition. There should eiter be a L4 header after the defintions, (and possibly a separate citations page) or the definitions should simply be indented below each def. I'll make the format changes to show you what I mean about the latter. --EncycloPetey 21:33, 31 July 2008 (UTC) ... or it seems you've already noticed that in your recent edits and have begun correcting them. --EncycloPetey 21:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I've added enough and cleaned enough entries that I can deal with that :p (fortunately, or I'd already be running away screaming) Circeus 21:38, 31 July 2008 (UTC)


Who is best to ask for UK pronunciations? At least the ones where non-rhotic accents will fatally have different pronunciations (cf. accord, occur, parvenu) should definitely have them. Circeus 14:24, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Widsith could be able to do them, but I can do them as well. I'll go through this months' selections, since I usually add pronunciaitons to pages even when the're not selected for WOTD. --EncycloPetey 16:44, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
You've made a number of formatting errors in the pronunciations added. See for example my changes to occur [2]. (1) The regional marker is placed first and inside a {{a}} template; {{qualifier}} is used in other sections. (2) If the SAMPA respresents the same pronunciation as the IPA, it should be listed on the same line and not the following one. (3) The audio file should follow the phonetic spellings. I've also made some IPA corrections. --EncycloPetey 16:55, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out my terrible formatting in pronunciation sections. It's probably the area I least touch on the site, so I'm pretty unfamiliar with it. Circeus 21:50, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
There aren't many people here who bother with that section on a regular basis. You've done a good job for just picking this up. One error on the templates: the 3rd has a double period at the end because the template automagically adds a final period. And personally, I would have trimmed out some of the definition for the 4th; WOTD should be edited for quick and easy readability, even if the entry itself has a more precise definition. Otherwise, as I said, a really fine first-time job at this. --EncycloPetey 16:33, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


Hello Circeus -- That's a very nice quotation that you added for sense2 of betimes. It's difficult to find a good one like that. -- WikiPedant 18:31, 3 August 2008 (UTC)


I am puzzled as to why you added " a primary color in both subtractive and additive color systems" to the entry. Magenta is primary neither in Art nor in Science. Only in an alternative printer's technology, and then only additive. Dbfirs 15:44, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Template:colour panel[edit]

I see, you reverted and just plowed onwards.

I have added the defaulting of the first parameter to the template properly. Would you kindly go back through all of the entries and remove the "2=" cruft? Robert Ullmann 15:57, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


If you either fix {{fr-conj}} to use {{wlink}} instead of explicit []'s, or at least use {{fr-conj-table}}, you won't need to pour all the table format crap into this template. Robert Ullmann 17:56, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

mouton enragé[edit]

Sorry to spring this one on you, but I just found out that my mic had been taken away by the hauler people (my landlords are having the flooring in the basement replaced, and almost everything in my room was hauled away), and can't record anything for the article. The operation was already complicated by the lack of Internet at home, but is now outright impossible. Circeus 18:45, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd already uploaded an audio file just in case. All the audio is in and linked through the 30 Aug WOTD. When you've selected a word for 31 August, I can record that one too. Just give me a few days notice in case I develop a busy schedule. --EncycloPetey 17:10, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


The vandalization of your bivouac entry was shocking. That's the first time I've witnessed such an attack. Its admirable that you are moving past it. Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas 16:52, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

I went ahead with recording and linking audio for all three of conurbation, accursed and ossify, since you hadn't decided yet which to use. --EncycloPetey 21:01, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I've selected words for August just earlier. I'll post it in my userspace later, in case you're interested in looking at it. Circeus 21:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Great. When you do that, joint drop me a link and I'll record any needed audio. --EncycloPetey 21:45, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused. In the WOTD Alphabetic index, you said ossify will be the 31 Aug WOTD, but the template was set up with accursed. Which was correct? --EncycloPetey 22:41, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

It looks like a good list. And, for the record, there are fewer verbs in English than nouns or adjectives, so sometimes I'll have feweer of them in a month. And other times I'll keep an eye out for recently edited verb entries that look interesting. That way, even though it's my own "nom", it's someone else's work being featured. --EncycloPetey 23:35, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

mouton enragé[edit]

Hi! My latest post at the tea room may be of interest to you... Harris Morgan 19:12, 28 August 2008 (UTC).


We removed the nbsp you added. What were you trying to do? Robert Ullmann 16:06, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

WOTD progress[edit]

How are you holding up? Still enthusiastic and finding it possible to keep up without pulling out your hair? :) I assume you've noticed that the little words are often more difficult to do than they seem at first.

Would you be interested in doing half of next month as well, or would you like me to take all of next month? If you'd like to split, you'd have Oct 1st-15th; I'd take 16th-30th. You'd be welcome to have Oct 31st as well (there were a lot of nice Halloween noms in October last year). --EncycloPetey 21:10, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

So a split month next month then? Aside: Yes, it is shocking how often definitions need to be added to noms. My worst for adding information on a former WOTD was cant, which turned out to have three extra etymologies (with senses underneath) that were not in the entry. --EncycloPetey 21:29, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Do whatever motivates you and gets the entry into better shape. I used to try cleaning up everything, but quickly burned out trying to do so. I do try to have every pronunciation and part of speech. I'd like to have every etymology, but that's not my forte. However, I find that If I can set up the structure and etymology headers, then getting others to add the etymological information is easier. If you're enthusiastic about quotations and senses, then that makes a nice complement to what other editors contribute. --EncycloPetey 22:11, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Er... I thought we were going to split the month, so that I got to pick a few words as well. --EncycloPetey 19:52, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I'll just do 21st-30th. There are a couple of items in there that will need looking at anyway, such as ibid., which is currently under the wrong pagename, since it is always ended with a period. Also, I'd recommend against tulgey, since it is a nonce word (unless you've found supporting quotes outside of Carroll, which would be very cool). --EncycloPetey 19:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi Circeus,

I recently created [[turlute]]. In the process, I came across a number of hits using turlute for turlutte (in the fishing sense, I mean, not the sexual sense, though it wouldn't shock me if those exist as well). Do you have any insight into whether this is an alternative spelling or a misspelling, and if the latter, whether it's common enough to warrant inclusion?

Thanks in advance!

RuakhTALK 18:45, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll do that. :-)   —RuakhTALK 19:49, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


EncycloPetey suggested that I ask for your opinion regarding whether this was appropriate. IMHO, the etymology, although very distantly related, is different and requires the header. Circeus 15:44, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, it's not the way I'd do it. Apart from anything else, it's not certain that sack "bag" and sack "pillage" are even the same word; I'd be tempted to split the etymologies. As for your explanatory comments, I personally prefer to put these kinds of things on the definition lines where appropriate, since they are not about word-etymology per se but rather are sense-specific. Ƿidsiþ 16:14, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Blindly hitting the revert button confirms little regard for the article and the process, destroys improvements to the article of various types (Including restoring your misspelling/broken link to "Illiad"), and undermines my time-taking efforts to improve several parts of the article. I disagree with your POV about the application of our software format to the etymology of this word. In some words (like this very word! in the "wine" sense) another Etymology header is warranted because the etymological source is entirely unrelated. This reality of our format, in my POV, is at best necessary evil, and often separates common senses far down the page that one would find in the top few lines of other dictionaries. In cases like this, where the Latin source is the same, and some common senses arose from simple figurative use somewhere along the line, I support an effort to combine them into "above-the-fold" territory. The same could be done at cracker. This not only gets common senses up into the visible, digestable range, but it actually supports our concept of dividing by etymology. If we make a habit of dividing new headers over the slightest difference, it undermines our presentation of the concept that some homographs have come from very different roots. Keep those separated that deserve separation. And show a little more concern for the various efforts of your fellow editors. The revert button has little honor in the Wiki world. -- Thisis0 19:00, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I gave a LOT of thought before I reverted the first time, and sought opinion from more experienced editors first. I failed to see any argumentations that the two meanings ("pillaging", From medieval Old French, and "bag" from Proto-Germanic stock borrowed from Latin) should be re-combined, in fact, I don't see any reason to treat these as identical whatsoever.
In this case, combining the meanings just because they eventually trace back all the way to a latinate form is disregarding exceedingly different semantic and geographical evolutions, and makes the etymology section downright ridiculously complicated. Circeus 20:07, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
While you may have given the concept a lot of thought, your method is still unhelpful. It's still a fact that the wholesale revert shows little regard for other improvements made, or others' work in general. I took the time to make various improvements line by line, including fixing your typos, and you clicked a button. The opinions you "gathered" before making this move were in opposition to you (DCDuring), tepid (EP), and indefinite (Wid).
You are wrong about the etymology of sack. All current Etym 1 senses are from the same geographical root, and have the same semantic root as well, "bag". The "plunder" senses evolved long ago in all of Europe from a figurative use of sack. Will future etymologists separate all senses that we now use figuratively, e.g. punch, spin, meat? I disagree that as-written it "makes the etymology section downright ridiculously complicated." On the contrary, separate sections out of view make it unneccessarily complicated. Now all the related information is together and can be digested. Also, at this point in the history of the word, you cannot separate the stories of these senses because they have come back 'round and influenced one another. The current impact of "sacking" someone from a job or "sacking out" to sleep are both influenced semantically by the brute force of the "plunder, conquer, tackle" meaning. These are definitely the subject of etymology -- the history of a word -- but in this type of case, they are all important side notes tracing the story of specific senses. A perfect example of when to separate a homograph by etymology is the "wine" sense of sack. The roots are completely different. -- Thisis0 21:12, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


Judging by the conjugation table you meant to create s'évanouir, no?--50 Xylophone Players talk 19:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, what do you know it already exists...--50 Xylophone Players talk 20:00, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

fr-conj-… templates[edit]

Hi, I edited most templates in Category:French conjugation templates. Maybe you want to have a look at them now. Particularly, I think you need to correct ‘plaire’ and ‘pourvoir’. Cheers, H. (talk) 11:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

WOTD - December[edit]

It's good to see you still interested in WOTD. You disappeared there for a while. I've selected the December words, and would appreciate any help you might provide in getting the entries ready before they are used on the Main Page. --EncycloPetey 18:26, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I understand entirely. --EncycloPetey 21:21, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


I just wanted to let you know that you can count on my full support regarding sack and the exigent splitting of the etymologies which is being prevented. I was convinced entirely after looking up the word in Onl. Et. Dict. where it is splitted even in three (irrespective of the wine meaning). Is on lui a donné son sac still current in French? (According to OED it was in the 17th century.) Bogorm 21:44, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

You'll both notice, if you follow that link, that the two detailed idiom etymologies helpfully given there both refer with a link back to sack (n.1), the single etymology of the word, on which these idioms are based. -- Thisis0 03:22, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


If courteous is a synonym, then it should be listed as such, even if it's already linked in the definitions. We don't have the "no repeat" mentality that WP has; sections of articles are treated as largely independent modules. --EncycloPetey 20:35, 9 January 2009 (UTC)


I wouldn't be surprised to see a revision as the definition is a little too poetic for me, but if you think it is flat out wrong then maybe you should remove the third meaning from French Wiktionary as well. Generally removal of content requires at least a comment, as you probably already know. DAVilla 07:14, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I'm not to say as I don't speak French. I see you removed it from the featured article as well, so I'll have to believe you. DAVilla 05:32, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

mangerai / mangerais[edit]

Hiya. Do you have any thoughts on this conversation: User_talk:Pharamp#-ai. It centres on the pronunciation of -ai and -ais in French. (Though I guess it is somewhat different in Canada..) Ƿidsiþ 20:03, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


I was planning on making a similar template {{ca-adj-form}} for Catalan adjective forms and looked up the code of {{fr-adj-form}}. I noticed that you added support for three parameters: sg, current, and cat, but I fail to see where they are of use for either French or Catalan except possibly as part of a set of standardized parameters for *-adj-form templates. Could you explain why you added them? Carolina wren 05:05, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

The cat= parameter is usually called sort= in other templates, and it allows entries with diacritical characters to be sorted alphabetically instead of being placed at the end of the sequence. That is, a word like pédfrer (not a real word) word be listed after "pz-" unless a sort=pedfrer was added to show the software how to sort the entry. --EncycloPetey 05:11, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
So naming cat as sort in the Catalan template would not only be acceptable, but preferred if I understand you correctly? Carolina wren 06:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes. We prefer to use the same parameter names across templates to make it easier for the community to identify and use features. --EncycloPetey 14:45, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Is there a list somewhere of those preferred parameter names? Carolina wren 16:24, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
No, unfortunately, but the parameters needed vary so much according to the type of template, that I'm not sure such a list would be terribly useful. I think sort, head, and lang are the most widely used, though. The parameter "head" is used in inflection line templates to generate the headword form when it may differ from the pagename, such as when there are optional diacritical marks as with Hebrew, or else when the headword form is a compound whose parts are to be linked. In some templates (especially English ones), the "head" parameter may be named sg (for a noun), pos (for an adjective or adverb), or inf (for a verb). You can see from this why a standard was developed for other templates. --EncycloPetey 16:37, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Words in the News[edit]

According to Wiktionary:Administrators/Dishwashing you have an interest in this. Is that still true? (I'm giving up editing it) SemperBlotto 13:14, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi, EncycloPetey referred me to you with this question. Would you know the answer? Thanks, --Duncan 22:12, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I think the definition is quite all right now, covering both senses. You see, I remember that some 20 years ago in correspondence chess it was indeed not unusual to make such an agreement ("I make this move and propose that these x obvious moves follow...") between players to save time and money, at least in my country; OTOH I understood perfectly well what the Everything2 page was talking about as well - but didn't know whether the word referred to the one, to the other or to either of them. Thanks again. --Duncan 22:56, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

-ier verb yes irregular[edit]


  • parler = /paʁ.le/ (discounting the very rare liaison)
  • étudier = /e.ty.dje/ (similarly)


  • parle = /paʁ(.)l(ə)/
    so, *« parle à Français » and « parla français » are identical in speech
  • étudie = /e.ty(.)dj(ə)/
    so, « étudie à Paris » and « étudia Paris » are identical in speech

Except that of course, that's not the case, because verbs in -ier are slightly irregular in pronunciation. It's actually:

  • étudie = /e.ty.di/
    so, « étudie à Paris » and « étudia Paris » are not identical in speech

Hence, as I wrote, “are perfectly regular in spelling, and their irregularities in pronunciation are as one would expect from the spelling.”

(BTW, question: is étudierai pronounced with /-djə-/, or with /-di-/? I feel like I've usually heard it with /-djə-/, but once or twice I could have sworn I heard a very distinct /-di-/, so I can't decide.)

RuakhTALK 17:10, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, exactly. We agree: for the reasons you state, verbs in -ier are slightly irregular in pronunciation. —RuakhTALK 17:40, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
BTW, the same irregularity applies to verbs in -uer. (Except for verbs like targuer, where the <u> is silent. targuais = /taʁ.ge/ is weird, but both spelling and pronunciation are regular.) —RuakhTALK 17:43, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
O.K., I take that back. In every dialect I know of, verbs in <-ier> are slightly irregular in pronunciation: depending on the ending that follows, their <i> has either a vowel pronunciation /i/, or a semivowel pronunciation /j/. I'm quite confident of this; but I think I've explained it as well as I can, and you still don't seem to understand what I'm saying, so I guess that's that. :-(   —RuakhTALK 17:56, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but what you're saying — while correct (and interesting!) — isn't relevant to this point. Think about it. If a regular verb had the infinitive /e.ty.dje/, then its first-person singular present indicative would be */e.tydj/. No /i/ would magically jump in from anywhere to produce /e.ty.di/. Further, I could be wrong, but I don't think French has any productive process that converts /Cj/ to /Ci/. (I think what happened is, the infinitive used to be /e.ty.di.e/, and the /i/ was reduced to /j/ before non-silent, non-schwa endings, resulting in the present irregularity, where the <i> is /i/ before certain endings and /j/ before others.) So I'm not saying anything about dialects; my point applies to each dialect, considered on its own. It's you who keeps bringing up dialects.
BTW, I'm not saying there's any irregular sound-spelling correspondence; if you know how to read French, the spellings of /e.ty.dje/ and /e.ty.di/ are completely unsurprising. I imagine this is because of a pervasive /i/ > /j/ shift that's affected many words in a fairly consistent way. All I'm saying is, the verb itself is irregular, in that its pronunciation follows a slightly different pattern from that of normal /-e/ verbs such as /nɛ.ʒe/ (whose conjugation is actually completely regular in its pronunciations, a fact reflected in its irregular spellings).
RuakhTALK 18:55, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I read it as /e.tu.di.e/ -> [e.tu.dje] (saying [e.tu.di.e] is certainly less odd than [e.tu.djə].), this account for étudiiez -> /e.tu.di.i.e/ -> (approx) [e.tu.diː.je].
After much research, I found the general phenomenon of vowel~consonant variation (for /i,u,y/) discussed in Grevisse (§35), and he notes that the /i.e/ phenomenon creates significant dialectal variation (in fact / is not unheard of), and that the /je/ pronunciation is forbidden after consonant + r,l (cf. trier, oublier). Explaining all this is really going through too much trouble to reflect a minor phenomenon not affecting spelling, and where the alternative pronunciation is virtually always equally valid. Furthermore, I believe relevant to note that no French-language grammar to my knowledge has ever considered these verbs irregular (other than on the word-formation level: a double i sequence caused by a root+prefix/suffix combination would normally be reduced to one). Circeus 19:27, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Good points all. Thanks for your patience! —RuakhTALK 20:19, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
No, no, don't apologize. It was informative. Most of what you said is stuff I actually knew on some level (except the /par.lɑ/, which shocked me), but I didn't put it together the best way. Your comments helped. :-)   —RuakhTALK 22:09, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


(Answered on my talk page.) Actually, "glottalized" is frequently ambiguous: "glottalized" /k'/ alongside "glottalized" /m'/. That might be considered substandard, but we should cover it. Kwamikagami 06:02, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm reading the 2001 2nd edition. Haven't seen the first, but I think it has some substatial changes (I paraphrased “9-category classification” from a paper, Norri 1996, but Landau 2001 actually has eight numbered categories of usage labels, frequency being absent from the 2001 edition, perhaps being replaced by detailed discussion of corpus lexicography).

I don't mind that the grammatical labels in Wiktionary look similar to the usage (“context”) labels, but I think they are still conceptually distinct. Michael Z. 2009-05-22 18:53 z

Well, our wikitext+templates, or their XHTML output could conceivably become well enough structured to be equivalent to some dictionary's XML. We have to agree on a few lexicography basics first.
I don't see the grammatical labels as a big stumbling block, in practical terms. They can apply their own HTML class and be given distinct visual formatting. Getting consensus for the change would be another thing. I'm planning to keep improving the usage-label framework, and that'll mean confronting grammar labels sooner or later. Michael Z. 2009-05-22 20:00 z


Hi Circeus. I see you removed liquor as a translation of literary French liqueur, but I think it's actually a good translation. liquor used to mean simply ‘liquid’, and then ‘drinkable liquid’, exactly in the same way as French liqueur developed. Eg in Milton's Paradise Lost, ‘Eve ... their flowing cups with pleasant liquors crown'd’, and the OED also lists several examples including ‘They call it Coffee,..This Liquor is made of a Berry.’ And so on. So if I were translating a French book which used ‘liqueur’ in this way, I think ‘liquor’ would be the perfect translation. Ƿidsiþ 06:42, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Well, perhaps you're right. I wasn't trying to mix and match -- my instinct is that liquor can still be used in elevated forms of writing to mean "drinkable liquid", but on the other hand I haven't seen Fr. liqueur used enough to have a strong sense of what the equivalent should be. Ƿidsiþ 13:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

English etymologies from French[edit]

You had mentioned as an aside in at WT:RFD#-nomics that you found a French etymology (for "ecology", I think) dubious. I don't know about that case, but I have been noticing that there are many etymologies that show a modern French derivation for a word that actually has Middle English derivation, usually with Anglo-Norman, Old French, or Middle French as more appropriate ancestors. Does that seem widespread to you? DCDuring TALK 18:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)


The modern French is just a cognate, not a linear ancestor of English. That is exactly what I'm trying to get at. If we had someone adding Old French entries, then the cognates would be available on linking to the Old French. Sometimes we get the same benefit from a Latin etymon because Latin shows many descendants. I really don't like English etys being buried in cognates. See lie#Etymology 1 for a not particularly egregious, but still appalling example. DCDuring TALK 01:24, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


You mention that Nouns of taxonomic families are always pluralia tantum in French.. It's the most common use, but not the only use. An example : Identification d'une petite fabacée bretonne in This use is recognized by modern dictionaries (e.g. look for fabacée in Petit Larousse 2009). Lmaltier 16:47, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


Hi Circeus, I am, at the moment, sorting according to the fr_FR.utf-8 locale, and trimming off (de l'|de l’|de la |de le |des |d'un |d'une |d’un |d’une |l’|l'|la |le |les |un |une |d'|d’|de ). I think I should probably be splitting off some of the words in the index:French/a section, but do not know which. If you notice problems, please let me know and I'll try to fix them. Conrad.Irwin 17:19, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

I've implemented most of your suggestions and re-uploaded the index. It's getting to the stage where it needs a key to understand it... At the moment "*" means translation of, "^" means derived from, and "=" means synonym of, orange means "there's no French section/the section is a form-of" while red and blue links carry their normal meanings. NB. If the orange link still looks blue, clear your cache (ctrl+shift+F5), I edited Common.css (and if it looks yellow, it's because you've visited the page before). Conrad.Irwin 01:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

à brûle-pourpoint‎[edit]

...can't be translated by "very straightforward or blunt". Because that's not an adverb. "Point-blank" is the exact English equivalent. Ƿidsiþ 04:57, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Bloc Québécois[edit]

Hello, I would appreciate your opinion about this anglicised neologism and its staunch proponent on its talk page. Regards. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:29, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

faillir conjugation[edit]

Hi. You work often with French conjugations. Can you please help with {{fr-conj-faillir}} please. I believe, that there are two conjugation patterns for this verb: one for e.g. j'ai failli mourir, and one for faillir (to go bankrupt). I am not sure, the best way to deal with this, in the page {{fr-conj-faillir}}. I have already split the page faillir into 2 etymologies, for clarifying, but am not convinced {{fr-conj-faillir}} is easy to understand. --Rising Sun 10:44, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


Could you please look at this entry, as regards whether it is English? - Amgine/talk 00:06, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Streisand effect[edit]

Hey there, I noticed you created the page on Streisand effect, thanks for the contribution. Just to let you know I added some passages from references. Cheers, Cirt (talk) 19:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Proposed CFI exception for SI Units[edit]

In light of your participation in Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2009/September#SI units and abbreviations, please contribute your thoughts to Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Proposed CFI exception for SI Units. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:02, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

check my conjugation please[edit]

Hi, I've recently created Template:fr-conj-braire, please can you verify that all is correct. --Rising Sun talk? 10:27, 1 March 2010 (UTC)